Arsenal have come under heavy criticism in the past for being ‘too soft’ and easy to play against from a number of critics.
Mikel Arteta’s side currently sit top of the Premier League table by a single point heading into the international break after winning six out of seven games. The Gunners lead the charge with rivals Manchester City and Tottenham close on their tail, taking advantage of poor starts from Liverpool and Chelsea.
Summer signing Gabriel Jesus has been a revelation in attack for Arteta’s side, scoring four goals and providing a further three assists so far, sharing the attacking responsibility with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. Arsenal look a changed side to the past as a blend of youth and experience now sees the north London outfit putting up an early fight for a Premier League title challenge heading into a busy month of fixtures starting with the north London derby.
Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has been very critical of the Gunners in the past but now believes Arteta’s side could find themselves in one of the tightest Premier League title races in history. Speaking to Betfair, Evra said: “It’s a crazy Premier League, there have been a lot of surprises.
“The favourites were Liverpool and City, but anything can happen. More games are coming and I always say you know more around December, but now we’ve got the World Cup. So, everything is weird.
“I think City and Liverpool are still the favourites, but you have so many others too including Tottenham, Arsenal, and Chelsea. Although, it’s really weird with Chelsea at the moment.”
Evra continued by admitting it’s not just the top teams that pose the toughest tests in the English top-flight, highlighting challenges against the likes of Crystal Palace and Newcastle in a long season as well. Evra added: “Every team is tough, playing against Crystal Palace you’re going to struggle, playing against Newcastle you’re going to struggle, every game is going to be tough.
“I don’t think we will see a massive points difference, like the winner of the league won’t be 20 points or 10 points in front, like in previous years. It’s going to be tough and it’s difficult to say who’s going to win the league. I keep saying what I said at the start of the season, Liverpool and City are the favourites.”
Arsenal started the season with a statement win over Palace at Selhurst Park as Arteta’s side put in an impressive display to take a 2-0 victory against Patrick Vieira’s side. The Gunners have also shown their steel coming from behind to win against Fulham along with a solid display in the 3-0 win over Brentford despite plenty of rotation players coming into the side.
After picking up six wins from seven to start the new season, the Gunners may well pose a different threat now compared to the past as Arteta has a strong selection of players to select from, with the group having grown closer together after the disappointing outcome to last term. The addition of Europa League football this season will strain Arteta’s squad, but the signs are there for a really strong season from the north London outfit as the club continues to work it’s way back to challenging for trophies and having a real chance of returning to the Champions League.
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